Suggested Fatbike Rides in the Fairbanks Area

Knowing what the temperature and wind is doing is important for winter recreation. Here are several good sources of information.

CLOSER TO FAIRBANKS

The Fairbanks Borough has several recreation areas good for fatbiking. For more information contact the borough parks department (907/459-1070; parks@fnsb.gov).

Tanana Lakes Recreation Area (borough park)

Skyline Ridge Park Trails (borough park)

Isberg Recreation Area (borough park)

University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Start place: Several places (see map)
  • Ride description: Most trails at UAF are ski-only or walk-only in winter, but there are a few open to cycling. You can do loops of varying lengths on the west side of campus using the Yankovich and Sheep Creek paths and various paths in the trail system. There are some hills, but they are not too drastic.
  • Map: https://uaf.edu/fs/files/northcampus/winter-trails/allwinter.pdf
    • Check the Bike/walk paths. The community paths in the north can also be used. However, be careful not to ride on groomed ski tracks on the Skarland Trail or wherever you find them.

GOLDSTREAM VALLEY/HILLS

Goldstream Valley West Loop

  • Start place: Parking past Ann’s Greenhouses: https://goo.gl/maps/5D1kcPxz8qgCiaVo8
    • Alternate start: Ivory Jack’s restaurant
    • Alternate start: Pullout off Ballaine Road just south of Goldstream Creek
  • Ride description: Mostly flat trails; ride Tanana Valley RR Trail to Ballaine Road, then return by connecting several trails and roads (Ballaine-Sandhill Trail, Sandhill Ave, Harpers Road, Dawn Drive, Dawn to Sauna Trail, Sauna to O’Brien and O’Brien Powerline trails). Loop is about 9 miles or so.
  • Resource: Trailforks mapping app (use Winter Fat Bike “Activity Type”).
  • Notes:
    • Could also do an out-and-back in either direction.
    • Several unmarked turnoffs, so at least one person should be familiar with the route
    • To combine shorter and longer rides, could do the initial loop then head up to the Ester Dome Singletrack trails.

Goldstream Valley East Loop

  • Start place: Pullout off Ballaine Road just south of Goldstream Creek.
  • Ride description: Mostly flat trails; ride Tanana Valley RR Trail in a northeast direction; find the connection and then ride back on the Goldstream Valley Northside Trail. Loop is about 9 miles.
  • Resource: Trailforks mapping app (use Winter Fat Bike “Activity Type”)
  • Notes:
    • Could also do an out-and-back in either direction.
    • Several unmarked turnoffs, so at least one person should be familiar with the route.
    • To combine shorter and longer rides could do the loop, then add in the Goldstream Valley West Loop (or head up to Skyline Ridge).
      • Can also add in an out-and-back on the El Dorado Creek Trail

Eldorado Creek Trail

  • Start place: Eldorado Creek Trailhead off Goldstream Road.
  • Ride description: Gradual steady climb up a creek drainage, with a few steep, relatively short climbs. Some overflow areas. First one, about a half-mile in, is most challenging.
  • Maps
  • Notes:
    • Can be done as an out-and-back (5.5 miles one way to pipeline); can be done as a loop if return via the Waterford Trail (about 10-11 miles, also on Trailforks).

O’Connor Creek Trail

  • Start place: Meet at Ivory Jack’s restaurant parking lot.
  • Ride description: Overall, a gradual steady climb up a creek drainage, with a few steep, relatively short climbs. Three main overflow areas. Uneven trail in places. Can be challenging, especially earlier in winter before there is sufficient snowpack. Ride up Jones Road (or follow the trail that parallels it if you know that one.) If ride up Jones, then get on trail at Jones-Waldheim intersection. (About 7 miles or so one-way.)
  • Maps:
  • Notes: Generally, an out-and-back, but can create much longer loops if connect with other trails, such as Moose Mountain powerline trail or Eldorado Creek trail.

Ester Dome Singletrack Trails

OTHER RIDES IN THE FAIRBANKS AREA

Tanana Valley State Forest – Rosie Creek Area

Tanana River

  • Start place:
  • Ride description: Flat ride going for as long as you want either downriver or up. You can also take snowmachine trails across the river into the Tanana Flats, but make sure you don’t get lost in the maze. Also, watch for open water or signs of weakness in the ice any time you are on a river, lake or pond.
  • Maps:

Cache Creek Forestry Road

  • Start place: Martin Siding Trailhead (intersection of Murphy Dome and Cache Creek roads)
  • Ride description: Out-and-back on forestry roads. Can be as long or short as you want. Has some substantial hills.
  • A map and descriptions of other local forestry roads can be found on our Resources page:
  • Notes:
    • There might be a bit of car traffic the first couple of miles, where a subdivision road turns off to the right (uphill). Normally, the car traffic is minimal to non-existent.
    • Will be an out-and-back with some possible side road explorations.
    • Can also head straight down from trailhead and access the Dunbar Trail that runs along the railroad. Can go either direction.

FARTHER NORTH OF FAIRBANKS

Old Murphy Dome Road (trail section)

  • Start place: Meet on Old Murphy Dome Road at end of maintenance from Elliott Highway entrance: https://goo.gl/maps/UcMSxsmTBHBP7KML9
  • Ride description: Well-kept dog mushing trails with several options. There are several intersections, so go with someone who knows or have fun exploring! Main trail (OMD road/trail) goes all the way to McCall Street (closer to Murphy Dome) where it turns into a maintained road. (About 5 miles one-way)
  • Maps:
  • Notes: Interesting side option with hills: Old Nike Missile Site Loop and Moose Mountain/OMDR connector (both on Trailforks).

Gilmore Trail Trail

  • Start place: End of state maintenance (end of pavement) on Gilmore Trail road:
  • Ride description: Out-and-back. Starts mellow, gets into some hills, then climbs a big hill, before getting into mellower but still tough hills.
  • Maps: Unfortunately don’t have one yet
  • Notes: Nice viewpoint at top of the big hill (if you take the right trail up the hill).

FARTHER OUT FROM FAIRBANKS

If you want to venture farther out of town, there are several options including:

Chena River Recreation Area (North Pole) (borough park)

White Mountains (meet at Wickersham Dome Trailhead; Trail Creek Trail out-and-back)

  • Start place: Most popular place is Wickersham Creek Trailhead
  • Ride description: Multi-use, motorized Wickersham Creek Trail is the one to take in winter. Starts with a relatively gradual one-mile climb. You can do out-and-backs as far as you like. Several hills. Several good turnaround points between trailhead and trail intersection with Trail Creek Trail about 6.5 miles in. After that both trails require substantial climbs on the return.
  • Maps:
  • Notes: White Mountains Nat Rec Area trails can also be access from these three trailheads:
    • Colorado Creek Trailhead: Mile 57 Elliott Highway
    • McKay Creek Trailhead: Mile 42 Steese Highway
    • US Creek Road Trailhead: Mile 57 Steese Highway

Circle-Fairbanks Trail – southern end (meet at Cleary Summit pullout; out-and-back)

Chena River State Recreation Area

All are out the Chena Hot Springs Road. Several trail ride options.